Celtic Yule Cakes

The Winter Solstice of 2020 in the Northern Hemisphere takes place on December 21. While the solstice is now considered the official beginning of the winter season, for many ancient faiths, it marked the beginning of the slow return of the sun from its lowest spot on the horizon; the first signal that the dark, cold days of winter would begin to wain and that gradually warmth and light would return again in their fullness.

For many modern practitioners of naturalistic and magical spirituality, this day is known on The Wheel of the Year as Yule, the ancient solstice celebration. It is celebrated in many different forms, but seasonal baking is always a highlight. If you want to try a tasty way to welcome the new birth of the sun, why not try these delicious Celtic Yule cakes.


4 eggs, beaten

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp grated orange peel or dried zest

1 and 1/3 cups granulated sugar

2 tbsp honey

1 and ½ cups of flour

1 and ½ tsp baking powder

2 tbsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp milk

1 cup raisins

1 cup sultanas or golden raisins


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Using a mixer, mix eggs, butter, vanilla extract, orange peel, sugar, and honey. Mix until fairly smooth.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and milk and mix together
  4. Stir in raisins and sultanas
  5. Place two heaping spoonsful of mix into each cup of a greased muffin pan (or use muffin cups)
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until tops are golden brown.
  7. Let cool, top with butter or honey

Yield: 12-14 muffins

Need music to bake by? Give our “A Cozy Winter” playlist a listen!


For deeper reading about the origin and meaning of solstice, written by a modern practitioner, see the post by staff writer Becky Courington:

Give me that old time religion

We found the original recipe, which we doubled, at the delicious website http://recipesforapagansoul.weebly.com/

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A writer and storyteller by trade, throughout the course of my career, I have led with curiosity. Much like Alice, I love the opportunity to ask questions and look at situations through different lenses. It’s a great way to find unexpected solutions or new ideas.

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